Third Heathrow runway will breach emission laws, according to UK Government advisers
According to the Committee on Climate Change, the business plan for Heathrow expansion would cause an increase in emissions of 15 per cent by 2050
Heathrow Airport - Image credit: PA images
Building a third runway at Heathrow airport would breach the UK Government's climate change laws, its own advisers have warned.
According to the Committee on Climate Change, the business plan for Heathrow expansion expects an increase in aviation emissions of 15 per cent by 2050.
It said the third runway plan, which was backed by the UK Government last month, negated plans to freeze aviation emissions at 2005 levels up to 2050.
And it warned that ministers would have to find more extreme emissions cuts from elsewhere in order to keep the overall output down – but was doubtful of success.
Chair of the committee Lord Deben wrote to Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark: “If emissions from aviation are now anticipated to be higher than 2005, then all other sectors would have to prepare for correspondingly higher emissions reductions.
“Aviation emissions at 2005 levels already imply an 85 per cent reduction in other sectors. My committee has limited confidence about the options [for achieving the compensatory cuts needed].”
But a UK Government spokesperson said: "The government agrees with the Airports Commission's assessment that a new runway at Heathrow can be delivered within the UK's carbon obligations.
"We are considering how we will continue to reduce our emissions across the economy through the 2020s and will set this out in our emissions reduction plan, which will send an important signal to the markets, businesses and investors.
"Our commitment to meeting our Climate Change Act target of an at least 80 per cent emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2050 is as strong as ever."
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In June parliament voted to replace Air Passenger Duty with a new Air Departure Tax, which is expected to be substantially lower
The bill will see Air Passenger Duty, devolved to Scotland as part of the 2016 Scotland Act, replaced by an Air Departure Tax from April 2018, set at half the current rate